CFTC’s Behnam praises Senate Ag digital reg bill

Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chairman Rostin Behnam on Thursday praised the the Digital Commodities Consumer Protection Act of 2022 introduced recently by Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., Sen. John Boozman, R-Ark., the ranking member on the committee, and Sens. Cory Booker, D-N.J., and John Thune, R-S.D., to give the CFTC new tools and authorities to regulate digital commodities.

“This mandatory framework will safeguard customers and our markets,” the senators said in a joint news release.

Behnam said in a CFTC news release, “As American investors continue to demonstrate growing interest in digital assets, there is a greater need to bring these markets within the regulatory fold.”

“We are at a critical inflection point where new legislative authority is needed to clarify ambiguities and provide a regulatory framework to the digital commodity market that protects customers, provides market integrity and certainty, and ensures financial stability.

“I commend Chairwoman Stabenow and Ranking Member Boozman for introducing bipartisan legislation that aims to accomplish these goals in a targeted manner.

“I look forward to working with the Congress as legislation continues to progress.”

The senators issued individual statements and the text and a summary of the bill.

“One in five Americans have used or traded digital assets — but these markets lack the transparency and accountability that they expect from our financial system. Too often, this puts Americans’ hard-earned money at risk,” said Stabenow.

“That’s why we are closing regulatory gaps and requiring that these markets operate under straightforward rules that protect customers and keep our financial system safe.”

“Digital assets and blockchain technology have already, and will continue, to change the way global markets function,” Boozman said.

“Yet, this fast-growing industry is currently governed largely by a patchwork of regulations at the state level. That simply is not an effective way to protect consumers from fraud. Furthermore, relying solely on state regulation does not ensure that rules and regulations work for all stakeholders.

“Our bill will empower the CFTC with exclusive jurisdiction over the digital commodities spot market, which will lead to more safeguards for consumers, market integrity and innovation in the digital commodities space.”

“As the number of Americans engaging with digital assets continues to grow, it is critical that we clarify and strengthen the regulation of our financial system,” said Booker.

“This bipartisan legislation will enhance oversight over digital commodities, taking an important first step to ensure that the digital marketplace operates fairly with commonsense rules in place and protects consumers entering this market.”

“Technology continues to transform digital commodities, and it’s critical that the Commodity Futures Trading Commission has the proper tools to regulate this growing market, ” said Thune.

“This legislation would provide the CFTC with the necessary visibility into the marketplace to respond to emerging risks and protect consumers, while also providing regulatory certainty to digital commodity platforms.”


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